Small businesses are under attack! There are a number of cybercrime groups that have been targeting micro, small, and medium enterprises because, often, they aren’t equipped with the right protection against online incursion unlike bigger corporations such as Microsoft and Google.
More businesses are becoming victim of a scam called ransomware attack.
A ransomware attack is when a computer is infected with a type of malware that encrypts files on the system and then demands a ransom be paid in order to decrypt them.
A ransomware attack can be very costly for any business, but especially for smaller businesses who may not have the resources needed to recover from such an attack.
But there are steps you can take to help minimize the damage and hopefully recover from a ransomware attack.
Prevention is Always Better Than Cure
All businesses should secure themselves from such attacks. You may think that your business isn’t big enough to be targeted, but that’s not the case. Cybercriminals specifically choose targets that are easier to siphon money from, and that’s usually people who aren’t expecting these sorts of attack.
Protecting yourself from ransomware attacks requires commitment and regular updates to your security software, hosting, and website.
Onward Technology can help with steps to secure businesses from cybercriminals. They provide an almost impenetrable security, as well as monitor business activities 24/7. All these stamp out any suspicious activities that can lead to a ransomware attack.
They can also provide security advice such as protecting your computer, using strong passwords, and never opening suspicious emails.
Identify which files were encrypted
The first thing you should do is identify which files were attacked so you can prioritize which files you should try to recover.
Since ransomware attacks are typically random, it may be difficult to figure out which files have been encrypted without prior knowledge.
However, there are some types of ransomware that encrypt specific file types on your computer. For example, Dharma ransomware only encrypts databases, documents, spreadsheets, etc. Meanwhile, SamSam targets database servers and uses weak passwords in order to get access to confidential information.
Tell People About this Incident
Make sure everyone who might be affected by the attack knows what happened and how to respond.
Inform all your employees and especially anyone who might have access to confidential information.
This ransomware attack could potentially affect everyone in the company, so make sure you take the necessary steps to protect them from sensitive materials, especially when viewing suspicious emails or opening attachments. You may even want to consider requiring two-factor authentication for accessing company accounts.
Back up Your Data Now!
Backups are a small business’s best friend in a situation like this because it will allow you to recover your important files quickly and minimize any damage that could be done by an attack.
Backups can also help with containing damage due to ransomware attacks by keeping copies of original data before they were encrypted.
It’s more than likely that your company has some sort of backup procedure so make sure you follow it as soon as possible to minimize the damage. If you don’t have a backup procedure yet, it’s not too late to start.
In order for a ransomware attack to be contained, backups need to run automatically, so they aren’t overlooked, and this must happen periodically. As a general rule, most experts recommend that backups be done at least daily, but weekly is often not enough.
In addition to your internal backup, consider backing up data on an external hard drive so you have access to it even if the ransomware attack was successful.
You might also want to use additional solutions like cloud storage for easy access and redundancy should one of the backups fail.
Contact the Authorities
It’s very important that you contact the authorities as soon as possible if infected with ransomware.
This is because ransomware attacks are cybercrimes and should be treated as such. The sooner you can get help dealing with this attack, the better your chances will be of recovering without too much damage done.
If you’re unsure of who to contact, your local police department may be able to help or point you in the right direction for dealing with cyber-crimes. You should also consider hiring a private investigator, especially if this attack had something to do with espionage.
It’s also great to have a crisis communication plan in place so everyone knows exactly how to respond should this happen.
A ransomware attack can be costly, especially for your business which depends on its customers’ trustworthiness in order to survive. These tips will help protect your small business against future attacks.